Planning tips to encourage classroom dialogue:
- Make explicit the ground rules that govern talk in the classroom by teaching students about the purpose of their talk with you and their classmates.
- Analyse the talk that has gone on, asking students to evaluate its quality and impact.
- Establish a talk focus and a ‘thinking’ atmosphere, valuing contributions, and asking questions to which you really do not know the answer.
- Have a discussion with students about their role as listeners.
- Ask confident students to talk about their perspectives of classroom talk. Compare these with the views of quieter learners.
- Have a ‘dialogue star’. Choose a student who is expected to make the initial contribution and change every week so each learner eventually takes this role.
- Use talk partners and groups so that questions and ideas can be shared with someone, if not with everyone.